The will-she-or-won’t-she rumors on Ronda Rousey returning to WWE for WrestleMania 34 are starting to tip the scales in favor of her doing it. The latest big sign is news from the usually-reliable Dave Meltzer that Rousey is currently training up her wrestling skills at the WWE Performance Center, with WWE planning a bout between her Four Horsewomen and Charlotte Flair’s Four Horsewomen.
Ronda’s last appearance in the WWE was a slam dunk success. But it’s a very different world compared to when she stepped through the ropes at WrestleMania 31 in 2015. At the time she was at the height of her career, the undisputed UFC women’s bantamweight champion and undefeated as a professional and an amateur. The media loved her. The fans either loved her or loved to hate her, but mainly loved her. When The Rock pulled her out of the crowd to take on The Authority in a surprise showdown, the wrestling world went nuts in a very good way.
Can that magic be recreated? I’d argue that it can’t. There’s a lot of factors at play here, and they’re all negative when you compare Ronda’s last appearance to what is rumored to go down here.
First and most obvious: no Rock. And then no Authority either. With those two broad strokes you remove the best face and heels in sports entertainment from the equation, which doesn’t help Ronda at all. Then we go to the Four Horsewomen. There’s nothing wrong with the WWE version. Charlotte, Sasha, Becky, and Bayley are all solid Divas who can work. But then you have Ronda’s Four Horsewomen, who comprise of her, Shayna Baszler, Marina Shafir, and Jessamyn Duke. Out of the four, only Baszler has WWE level wrestling chops. The rest are solid athletes, but how many athletes have we seen who were unable to hack it in wrestling?